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Aristotle, Thought, and Mimesis:

OUf Responses to Fiction

Tragedy is paradoxical, as Aristotle saw, for while fear, anger, and pity are ordinarily painful emotions, the audience of a tragedy undeniably enjoys experiencing them. Aristotle explains in the Poetics,

It is natural for all to delight in works of imitation. The truth ... is shown by experience: though the objects themselves may be painful to see, we delight to view the most realistic representations of them in art)

This paradox (the paradox of tragedy) prompts us to ask whether the audience's pity and fear can be the same as those emotions would be when aroused in ordinary (reality-based) contexts. A problem related to the paradox of tragedy is that we fmd pleasure in experiences presented through mimesis that would disturb and upset us were they to happen in reality. Faced with this general paradox of the status of our emotions 'in response to mimetic events we ask, Can the fictional or inake-beiieve prompt emotions just likethe ones that the real! world Prompts? In what follows,'] shal! investigate Aristotle's answer to this "question. " The "paradoxes" presented by emotive responses to'mimesis are both prompted and resolved differently. That is, "real" emotions are thought to be prompted only by "real'~vents. According to this line of thinking, fictions cannot generally be said to effect the same kind, class, or intensity of emotion that real events provoke. Similarly, the long-term effects of the emotions can be considered to be significantly different.s What we perceive as being actual is based on our beliefabout the intentional object. The problem is that if we do not believe something to be real, it does not seem rational or consistent that we would react to it in the same manner, or with the same qual-

ity of emotion, as we would if we did believe it to be real.

Although I will be dealing primarily with explanations and justifications for the more general paradox of mimesis (currently labeled the paradox of fiction), Aristotle dealt mainly with the paradox of tragedy. The two are related, but have slightly different emphases; whereas Aristotle wrote only of the tragic emotions (pity and fear), the current focus is on how we can respond to representations at all, tragic, horrific, or happy. Emotionally, we can be moved by mimetic events, knowing them to be mimetic, but our strong emotions do not preclude-and indeed they often enhance-our enjoyment of tragedy, and, more generally, of fiction. This is especially true with the tragic emotions. We usually try to avoid negative emotions in our "real lives" (e.g., pity and fear), but these emotions generally enhance our enjoyment of tragedy.

The paradoxlncorporates'three different assumptions. Depending on which one is seen as pivotal or problematic, one will be faced with different iways ofresolving it. The three assumptions are as follows: (1) we are genuinely moved by fictions; (2) we know that which is portrayed in fictions is not actual; and (3) we are genuinely moved only' by what is actual. Thus, we have three options. We can deny the first part-that we are genuinely moved by fictions. That is, the seeming emotional responses we have only resemble genuine emotions but are not of the same quality as emotions prompted by real events. We can claim that the events portrayed in fictional events are real in a significant sense, and that the representations or narrative accounts have a genuine effect on our emotive lives. In this case we are not denying that what we see is fictional, but rather we claim that what we are responding to is what

The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 58:4 Fall 2000

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is presented-narrative accounts of real or fictional events. Or, we can deny the third claim, that we are genuinely moved only by what we know is actual, and claim that we can and do have genuine emotive responses to what we know is not real. It will be my task to flesh out some of the main arguments, and to see which makes the best philosophical and practical sense in terms of what we know about the emotions and about our understanding of our belief systems.

Before going further, I wish to distinguish four different kinds of beliefs, since the kind of belief we are talking about will be pivotal to the discussion. First, there is a distinction between dispositional and occurrent beliefs. An occurrent belief is a special sort of mental occurrence or mental act that happens at a particular point in time. But belief need not always be regarded as a mental occurrence, introspectable or not. A belief can also be thought of as a disposition. H. H. Price explains about dispositional beliefs,

When we say of someone "he believes the proposition p" it is held that we are making a dispositional statement about him, and that this is equivalent to a series of conditional statements describing what he would be likely to say or do or feel if such and such circumstances were to arise.'

There is a further distinction that needs to be made between existential and evaluative beliefs. An evaluative belief is a sort of evaluative judgment about a set of circumstances. For example, although I do not have an existential belief about Anna Karenina's (the character in the novel by the same name) existence, I do have an evaluative belief that a woman in Anna Karenina's position would be very distraught+ What I am primarily concerned about is existential beliefs. That is, if one does not believe in the reality of a situation, how can one have correspondingly appropriate emotional responses?

Samuel Taylor Coleridge once suggested that when reading fiction or viewing film we temporarily abandon our standards concerning what is real and what is make-believe. He said: "Willing suspension of disbelief for the moment ... constitutes poetic faith."5 But, according to Noel Carroll, many problems arise with this sort of account. To begin, in order to disbelieve something willingly, one must first be aware of the belief-in order to disbelieve it. We are rarely

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aware of these beliefs while reading fiction or watching a movie. Also, we do not have the ability to will, or to decide consciously, what we do and do not believe," A willing suspension of disbelief suggests that belief is somehow something over which we have conscious control. This is not the case with fictions, nor is it the case that we willingly or consciously approach fictions thinking it is now time to willingly disbelieve what we are about to experience." This would require that we are always aware of what our beliefs are, which I would argue against. It is not only our occurrent beliefs that we are concerned with here, but our dispositional beliefs as well. It is not reasonable to think that either kind is suspendable at will. More importantly, our existential beliefs seem to be the biggest obstacle here. It would seem that those are rarely, if ever, suspendable.

Carroll presents an interesting alternative that seems to allow genuine emotional reactions to mimesis but does not require existential belief in the events representedf Carroll explains that what he calls thought theory

... maintains that we can be moved by the content of thoughts entertained; that emotional response does not require the belief that the things that move us be actual. We can be moved by prospects that we imagine.?

By differentiating thoughts and beliefs in this way, Carroll can claim that belief states are not required for justified emotive response. However, just as belief states have propositional content (I believe that it is snowing), so thoughts and the propositional content of a thought (I imagine that it is snowing) can move one to a genuine emotive response. Carroll explains that thoughts are used in contrast to beliefs. He explains,

To have a belief is to entertain a proposition assertively; to have a thought is to entertain it nonassertively. Both beliefs and thoughts have propositional content. But with thoughts, the content is merely entertained without commitment to its being the case; to have a belief is to be committed [to] the truth of the proposition.t?

According to Carroll, we can be moved, and we can have emotions prompted that look just like emotions prompted by beliefs in the world. Thus, thought theory and its range of advocates would deny the assumption of the paradox of fiction that

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Worth Aristotle, Thought, and Mimesis: Our Responses to Fiction

we are not genuinely moved by fictions. They would say, rather, that we have genuine and similar responses as we have to events about which we have existential beliefs,"! While thought theory is presented as a novel solution to an old problem, it is actually very similar to the theory Aristotle advocates.

According to Aristotle, one does not need belief in order to have emotive responses to the mimetic accounts conveyed through poetry. Belief is required of rhetoric in order to perform its task. Persuading the emotions, according to the Poetics and the Rhetoric, involve different ways of approaching emotion. Poetry is not oratory. Poetry does not seek to persuade, but to purge the tragic emotions. Poetry does not seek to prove anything.P The goal is merely to compose a mimetic representation of human actions. The poetic process of poeisis-mimesis-catharsis can in no way be confused with the rhetorical process of rhetoric-proof-persuasion. Beliefs need not be altered with the first, but such alteration is a requirement of the latter.

Aristotle explains in the Rhetoric that prose must not be "too much like poetry."!3 He continues by explaining that poetry fails to produce persuasion at all. This is, in fact, how he differentiates between rhetoric and poetry. He uses the Greek apithana, which is defined as "not winning belief, unlikely or not persuasive" to describe poetry.l+ It would seem, then, that poetry is able to produce an emotional catharsis without changing belief. In fact, not winning belief or not being persuasive is part of the definition of poetry. As long as Aristotle understands this to be the differentia between poetry and rhetoric, it is safe to assume that he was not worried about the belief states one acquires or changes while hearing poetry. The resulting catharsis must be the effect of some other affectation.

Aristotle claims that experiencing the tragic emotions is a healthy way to purge or cleanse oneself. He claims that indulging in aesthetic emotions can help one learn to deal with emotive responses to real situations because we can learn from their mimetic presentation.P Whether or not the emotions that result from viewing mimesis are qualitatively the same as those experienced in reality is still debatable, however, and it would seem that the answer to that question is requisite to discovering whether "practicing" emotive responses (to mimesis) really can be helpful to one's


psyche in dealing with emotions that result from real events.

Mimesis is that which differentiates poetic practices from the theoretical and practical sciences. It is the mimetic framework, then, that explains why the pleasure derived from mimesis could be of the same sort as the pleasure we find in learning. The pleasure is derived from clarification that poetry provides about human nature. Mimesis is not an imitation of reality but a direct reference to it, in which we can come to understand reality more clearly. That we come to understand through mimesis is the basis of our pleasure in learning. This is only one way we learn, however, (through mimesis) and although it does not explain how we fear fictions it is an important aspect of how we find pleasure in fear-fictional or otherwise.

While viewing a play, when one does not believe that the action on stage is real, it would seem that there would be no reason to develop real fear in such a case. A person may develop a "fear that" something like what is occurring on stage may happen to her or him. No one, however, should develop a "fear of' what is on stage, which would produce a response that would be the same as if she or he believed the actions presented were real and threatening to her or him. A "fear that" requires no existential belief, but an evaluative belief about a particular situation. But existential belief is not important in the case of tragedy, according to Aristotle, since it is the job of the tragic poet to make the incidents in the tragedy convincing enough that the spectator understands the power of misfortune and destiny, and how the possibilities enacted in performance relate to her or him. Being believable and having a belief in the reality of are entirely different. In entering a theater, now or in ancient times, no one is under the impression that she or he is about to view something that is "real." The story line is fictitious (although it may contain some historical facts, and the issue of falsity is different from fietionality) and the actions representing the plot line are only representations. The point of viewing tragedy or reading poetry is not to believe that what is presented is factual. It is, rather, to understand a universal message, which the poet has carefully crafted into a particular story.

Why is it, then, that we continue to go to the theater, knowing that what happens on stage is not real, continuing to have emotional responses

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to what we see on stage? The answer would seem to depend, at least in part, on the original question posed about whether the emotive responses to representation and to real life experiences are of the same kind. It would seem that if they are not of the same kind, "practicing" emotions in the theater would not do anyone any good in the real world. If the emotive responses are of the same kind, then experiencing emotional responses in a controlled circumstance, as we do in the theater, allows us to feel pity and fear for the characters in the tragedy. We do, in fact, have an emotional catharsis in response to an action that we do not believe is actually occurring.

Let us consider in finer detail what it means to ask of emotions aroused by mimesis if they are qualitatively the same as those aroused by fact. First, are they called by the same name? Often, yes, they are. Fear (Phobos) in the Rhetoric is still called fear in the Poetics. Even if there is a qualitative difference, it continues to be called by the same name. Second, do they feel the same? That is, is their phenomenal quality the same? Here the answer seems to be both yes and no. For the painful emotion of fear when aroused by tragedy contains an important element of pleasure, of appreciation. It is thus qualitatively different from fear aroused by a real situation, at least subjectively. Also, although the physical responses may be similar (elevated heart rate, sweaty palms, etc. when experiencing fear), the lasting effects of real tragedy are much longer than with the emotion that results from experiencing mimesis= Further, there is an important component of action that is generally included in an emotion of fear. If one really felt fear, one would not likely remain in her or his chair for very long. Third, do the two types of emotion have the same effect (moral and/or cognitive) on the soul? The answer here is complicated. The type of cognition involved differs in that one is a belief in a particular situation and the other an acknowledgment of a possibility that is more or less universal. Aristotle praises imitations as vehicles of learning, 17 and notes that as such they are pleasurable. It is not entirely clear, however, how they really do affect the soul.

We generally feel pity and fear for the tragic protagonist in a performance, but we do not learn appropriate pity and fear by imitating her or his emotions. IS The character fictitiously fears what mayor may not happen. In feeling pity and fear

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for the tragic protagonist, however, we take what Amelie Rorty explains as the "reflective spectator's" position. 19 She explains that the protagonist "fears what may happen: we fear for him.''20 We do not experience the same emotions as the characters at the same time. Our intentional objects differ and, accordingly, the feeling would differ. We can understand that what we see is only a representation, not believing that what is happening is real. We have an emotional reaction in response nonetheless. It is by means of identification with the characters, and watching the possibilities of situations played out, that Greek tragedy is able to seduce the viewer into feeling pity and then fear for the action on stage.

Further, it is clear in De Anima that Aristotle believes the emotions are located in the body, and that cognitively we cannot be moved by things about which we do not have existential beliefs. He explains,

When we think something to be fearful or threatening, emotion is immediately produced, and so too with what is encouraging; but when we merely imagine we remain as unaffected as persons who are looking at a painting of some dreadful or encouraging scene.s!

This would appear to be the cognitive equivalent of Carroll's unasserted thought. One can entertain a thought without necessarily believing that it is actually the case. But according to thought theory, one can have an emotive response to that unasserted thought. What Aristotle says here would appear to mean that one would be unaffected by a thought entertained in this way.

It is clear, then, that for Aristotle emotions require a body. They are not purely cognitive nor do they exist only as affections of the soul. They do not exist separately from the soul. One can get angrier if one's body is already in an agitated state (a state that would resemble a body already angry). But why would it ever be the case that your body was affected in such a way without an accompanying belief state? Perhaps it is some sort of affective residue-since it is in the body but not necessarily the mind or soul. Perhaps it is that the body becomes aroused by artificial or false means (i.e., fictitious intentional objects). So, it would seem that a representation can arouse the body and then the cognitive part takes hold as well. The result would then be an emotive re-

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Worth Aristotle, Thought, and Mimesis: Our Responses to Fiction

sponse that one does not have the necessary belief requirements to justify.

In order to experience pity or fear, according to Aristotle, one must have the impression (phantasia) that some action is taking place that is painful or destructive.P Aristotle does not claim that the spectator must believe what is happening. The Greek word doxa, commonly translated "belief" in English, is never once used in the Poetics in reference to what the audience should or should not think.23 But Aristotle says in the Rhetoric that "fear is felt by those who think (phaneron) something to be likely to happen to them, at the hands of particular persons, in a particular form, and at a particular time."24 None of these particulars are given in tragedy. The audience must know that nothing destructive is really happening on stage; otherwise they would not be able to enjoy themselves at all. Not many of us watch attentively and derive pleasure from watching someone being stabbed if we believe or think that what we see is real.

Pity, according to Aristotle, is aroused by a strongly sympathetic sense of undeserved yet inevitable misfortune.P Fear then comes about from the notion that the misfortune could happen to someone like US.26 Aristotle claims in the Rhetoric that fear is "a pain or mental disturbance due to a mental picture/impression (phantasia) of some destructive or painful event in the future."27 The definition of fear should apply for mimetic tragedy as well, even though it is fear felt at a distance (perhaps because there is no existential belief involved): and it is not personal

end 'itnmediat~. But Aristotle later says in the ~e~Q*'that fear lS induced' only by great pains rid l~sse$ if they ar~ immediate. He says, "only If they appear not remote but so near as to be imminent: we do rot fear things that are a very long Fay #~F~~:P~f ltf po:hay~ emotire res~onses to I tntm~t\c preseJ?t~tf~ns, eyen !though they are not immediate considerations, If ~ mental picture can cahs~ fear or imagining of1 something that could happen in the future (no matter how distlint),then ~erta~nl1fellr~hob)d 'legitimately be the result of viewing a tragedy, no matter how far off the imminent danger seems to be. The difference is only that one leau ts generated by the imagination of some futUre occurrence and the bther by viewing a representation of some particular action. This is an important difference between the Rhetoric and the Poetics on the question of how


the different emotions affect those who experience both. This may also be an indicator of how the felt responses are qualitatively different.

In De Anima, however, Aristotle explains that something like a phenomenological experience can influence our responses to our thoughtsasserted or unasserted. First, though, he claims that the body is an integral part for any emotive response. He claims that "all the affections of the soul .. , would seem to require a body, since whenever we have them the body is affected in some way."29 Further, there seems to be, according to Aristotle, a sort of phenomenological, or bodily, felt response to fictional stimuli that are not necessarily believed. He clearly states that if the body is in a heightened emotional state, even imaginings can move us emotively in ways they would not or could not otherwise. Bodies would not necessarily be in heightened emotional states at the theater, but it would seem plausible that they could easily become that way given the appropriate circumstances.

We find further evidence later in De Anima of Aristotle's unwillingness to agree that belief is necessary for emotion. Here he is not discussing emotion or representation per se, but belief and perception. Whereas Plato defined perceptual appearance (phantasia) as a belief through sense perception (doxa di aistheseos),30 Aristotle denies that perceptual appearance is based in belief. His argument for this is based on the fact that we know our senses deceive us. As Aristotle is known for pointing out, the perceptual appearance we have of the sun is quite small, perhaps only a foot across, but we believe that it is much larger than that.31 Now this does not give us any further evidence that we are perceiving fictions in any other way than that we know them to be mimetic, but it does support my argument that belief is not a precondition to perceiving and responding to something emotively.

What we have here, however, is a somewhat unclear account of what is required for one to have an emotive response to representation. For although Aristotle does not necessarily use the term belief, it seems clear that he differentiates between an unasserted thought or imagining and a proposition that is entertained along with a belief. Aristotle argues that phantasia is not identical to belief. But, in the Rhetoric. Aristotle expands on his initial account of fear in a way that makes it clear that he does think that fear involves

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"the expectation (prosdokia)32 that something destructive will happen to US."33 He goes on to defme fear as that which is felt by those who think (oiomenous) that something [bad] is going to happen to them."34 Aristotle does not use the word "believe" tdokeis here, but surely to expect or to think that I am going to get hurt is just as to believe that I will.

The discussion of pity uses the same terms.

Aristotle explains that pity may be defined as a feeling of pain at an apparent evil, destructive or painful, that befalls one who does not deserve it, and that we might expect (prosdokeseien) to befall ourselves or some friends of ours. Moreover, we expect it to befall us soon. If we are to feel fear, we must obviously be capable of thinking or believing that some evil may happen to us, or someone like us. It is therefore not felt by those completely ruined, who think that no further evil can befall them, since the worst has befallen them already. Thus, thinking that something may happen-fearing that it may-does not require belief per se, but it does require a proposition that is asserted, rather than just imagined. It seems, then, that despite his claims that a catharsis of the emotions can be achieved by means of representation, the emotions produced by the mimetic catharsis are qualitatively different from those produced by real joy or tragedy.

Perhaps these emotions are not actually qualitatively different but just quantitatively different. Viewing a tragedy and thinking that the same fate might befall me is just an unasserted thought. Is there a sharp distinction between unasserted and asserted thoughts, however? It might be the case that we begin with unasserted thoughts and then move closer and closer to thinking that they might become reality. For example, if I imagine that my parents have died in a car accidentunassertively-I do not believe that they have. The imagining is just becoming more vivid. But the more I think about it, and the resultant possibilities become more real to me, I see that it is a real possibility that might happen. I imagine the ways in which I might react. I do not believe that they have died, but I am moving down a continuum between unasserted and asserted propositions. The question remains, however, as to whether there is a gap in the continuum between asserted and unasserted-a gap between thought and belief. If this is the case, then Aristotelian catharsis would make more sense in that we can

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imagine and entertain tragic thoughts unassertively to a point that successfully imitates the effects of what an asserted thought might produce.

With the distinction between thought and belief, made by Aristotle as well as Carroll, Aristotle's notion of how one can be moved by something she or he does not believe becomes clearer. The absence of belief for an emotion is not an issue for Aristotle, as evidenced by the lack of the term in relevant portions of the Poetics. 35 The fact that pity and fear are said to be aroused by an impression (phantasia) or thought (phaneron) and not by belief, in the Poetics or in the Rhetoric, seems to indicate that Aristotle's claim mirrors Carroll's claims about "thought theory." Perhaps both theories work on this continuum between what is asserted and what is merely imagined. If it is in fact true that the (unasserted) propositional content of thoughts can move us emotively, then it appears that we have gone through the full philosophical circle, finding, in the twentieth century, that Aristotle had the answer all along. Our thoughts can move us in ways we never imagined.w

SARAH E. WORTH Department of Philosophy Furman University

Greenville, South Carolina 29613-1200


1. Aristotle, Poetics, trans. Ingram Bywater (New York:

Random House, 1941), 1448b 11-12.

2. This is not to say that one cannot have significant, genuine responses to fictions she or he knows are not real. One could have lasting emotional effects to a film such as Schindler's List.

3. H. H. Price, Belief (London: George Allen & Unwin Limited,1969).

4. Bijoy Boruah explains in detail the difference between existential and evaluative beliefs. See his Fiction and Emotion: A Study in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Mind (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988).

5. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Biographia Literaria (London:

Rest Fenner, 1817), chap.14.

6. See also Bernard Williams, "Deciding to Believe," in Problems of the Self: Philosophical Papers 1956-1972 (Cambridge University Press, 1973).

7. See Noel Carroll, The Philosophy of Horror or Paradoxes of the Heart (New York: Routledge, 1990), and Eva Schpaer "Fiction and the Suspension of Disbelief," The British Journal of Aesthetics 18 (1978): 31-44, on the problem of willing suspension of disbelief.

8. See also Peter Lamarque's essay "How Can We Fear and Pity Fictions?" The British Journal of Aesthetics 21 (1981):

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Worth Aristotle, Thought, and Mimesis: Our Responses to Fiction 339

291-304. Lamarque provides a more detailed explanation of the Thought Theory.

9. Carroll, The Philosophy of Horror or Paradoxes of the Heart, p. 88.

10. Ibid., p, 80.

11. I have found a general lack of precision in the language used to describe these emotions. I will stick with "genuine," although I find it problematic since it assumes other emotions to be ingenuine. "Rational," "reasonable," and "justified," the other most common descriptors, seem to me to be even more problematic.

12. This is only one reading of catharsis, a highly debated and somewhat opaque term. For further discussion of possible interpretations of catharsis, see Essays on Aristotle's Poetics, ed. Amelie Oksenberg Rorty (Princeton University Press, 1992). See especially the essays by Stephen Halliwell, Martha Nussbaum, Alexander Nehamas, Jonathan Lear, and Richard Janko. See also Jacob Bernays's "Aristotle on the Effect of Tragedy" in Articles on Aristotle, vol. 4, ed. Jonathan Barnes, Malcolm Schofield, and Richard Sorabji (New York:

St. Martin's Press, 1978).

13. Aristotle, Rhetoric, trans. Rbys Roberts (New York:

Random House, 1941), 1406b 9-10 and 1406b 14.

14. Henry George Liddell and Robert Scott, A GreekEnglish Lexicon (abridged) (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982), p. 82.

15. This all-important notion of learning from imitation is founded on the natural human response to mimesis. "Imitation is natural to man from childhood, one of his advantages over the lower animals being this, that he is the most imitative creature in the world, and learns at first by imitation. And it is also natural for all to delight in works of imitation" (Poetics, 1448b5-9).

16. This is the case with comparable events. That is, the grief one feels after the death of a child is longer lasting than the grief one feels after reading a novel about the death of a child. There are, of course, cases that an emotion aroused by mimesis will affect one in a greater sense than a so-called real emotion.

17. Aristotle. Poetics. 1448b.

18. Of course, Plato would say that we do imitate the emotions and thus it is morally dangerous to indulge in mimesis.

19. Amelie Rorty, ''The Psychology of Aristotelian Tragedy," Essays on Aristotle's Poetics, ed, Amelie Oksenberg Rorty (Princeton University Press, 1992), p. 13. See also Martha Nussbaum's judicious spectator in Poetic Justice (Boston: The Beacon Press, 1995), which is derived from the theory of Adam Smith.

20. Rorty, ''The Psychology of Aristotelian Tragedy," p. 13.

21. Aristotle, De Anima, ed. Richard McKeon, trans. J. A.

Smith (New York: Random House: 1941), 427b 22-25. Also, his comparison to this kind of response, being like the response one has to representation, would seem to be an argument that he felt the responses (with and without existential belief) are at least different in quantity if not in quality as well.

22. Aristotle, Rhetoric, 1382a 21.

23. The word doxa (or a derivative) appears four times in the Poetics: 1452a 4 (doxan), 1453a 10 (doxa), 146tb 10 (doxan), and 1461b 35 (doxa). None of these refer to what the audience should believe.

24. Aristotle, Rhetoric, 1382b 34-35.

25. Aristotle, Poetics, 1453a 3.

26. Ibid., 1453a 4.

27. Aristotle, Rhetoric, 1382a 20-22.

28. Ibid., 1382a 25-26.

29. Ibid., 403a 17-19.

30. Plato, Sophist, trans. F. M. Cornford (Princeton University Press, 1961), 263e-264d.

31. Aristotle, De Anima, 428b 3-10.

32. Prosdokia is from the root word doxa meaning a for-

ward-looking belief.

33. Aristotle, Rhetoric, 1382b 29-30.

34. Ibid., 1382b 30-34.

35. I may be misinterpreting Aristotle's intent, since I am only working from the extant fragments. I am aware that my theory rests on an omission.

36. I would like to thank Carolyn Korsmeyer and Eric Brown for extremely helpful and extensive comments on earlier drafts of this paper. I would also like to thank the anonymous reviewers from The Journal of Aesthetics and Art , Criticism for comments that helped this come into a much clearer focus.

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